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yariv levin

  • Plenty of talk about 'peace,' little commitment

    When leaders from center-left aren't willing to deepen the struggle against the occupation, it's hard not to feel that they, too, prefer the status quo. Notes from the Haaretz Conference for Peace. The most genuine moments at Thursday's Haaretz Conference on Peace came from two right-wing speakers — Yariv Levin and Ze'ev Elkin, both ministers in Netanyahu's government — who unequivocally called the two state-solution a "hallucination," which they have no plans of ever implementing. Since neither of them have any intention of granting citizenship to Palestinians under occupation, they view the current situation as the solution. Around the same…

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  • The ‘Jewish Nation-State Law’: Turning liberal Zionism on its head

    Cementing the supremacy of national group rights over individual minority rights upends the precarious balance between Jewish and democratic, upon which liberal Zionism relies. For the 'Nation-State Law's authors and political patrons, however, this is just the beginning. Liberal Zionists of all stripes tend to have one thing in common: the belief — or at least the hope — that Israel can reconcile and balance being a Jewish and a democratic state, serving both as the realization of Jewish national self-determination and as a modern liberal state that guarantees equality to all its citizens regardless of their religion or ethnic…

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  • Bill aims to strip citizenship, curb speech — a bellwether of Israel's Right

    A senior Likud MK is proposing to suspend much of Israeli democracy. His bill has zero chance of passing muster, but it does show where the Israeli Right thinks the future of the conflict lies.  MK Yariv Levin (Likud), chairman of the House Parliamentary Committee, is pushing a new directive — temporary legislation — to "combat terrorism" that amounts to perhaps the most sweepingly anti-democratic legislative project in recent years, whether implemented or proposed. The directive is extraordinarily harsh even by Israeli measure, and is almost certainly unconstitutional on several levels. It is meant to apply both to the occupied Palestinian territories and…

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  • Refusal by elite IDF reservists angrily dismissed as 'political'

    Following the public refusal of 43 reservists of the IDF's 8200 intelligence unit, politicians and other veterans of the unit have openly denounced the reservists, viewing their refusal as an unacceptable politicization of their army service. Political leaders both from the government and the opposition condemned 43 reservists from Israel’s prestigious 8200 intelligence unit who stated their refusal to take part in intelligence-gathering activities that, they claim, deepen Israel’s military rule over Palestinians. Unlike the issue of refusal during Protective Edge, which was hardly noticed or covered during the war, the 8200 letter grabbed headlines over the weekend, appeared on most major news Internet sites,…

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  • Kidnapping is proof the occupation can't protect Israelis

    Israelis deserve a leadership that is capable of interrupting the cycle of violence; they deserve more than juvenile assurances of retaliation. By Nathan Hersh Last month MKs Yariv Levin (Likud) and Orit Strock (Jewish Home) submitted a series of bills seeking to annex Area C of the West Bank to Israel. What would things look like today had the government agreed? Such a vote would have been a victory for the Jewish Home party and the rest of the Greater Israel crowd, but it would result in a security nightmare. The kidnapping of Eyal Yifrach, Gilad Shaar, and Naftali Frenkel…

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  • Law dividing Christians, Muslims is a classic colonial tactic

    Instead of promoting equality and the non-racialization of citizenship in Israel, right-wing MKs are adopting a classic colonial law to weaken the non-Jewish community’s 'threat' to the country's ethnic order. The Knesset this week enacted a new law that legally distinguishes between Christian and Muslim citizens of Israel regarding employment opportunities. Though the law does not make a significant impact on its own, more bills are expected to be introduced that emphasize the same distinction. The Knesset member behind the bill, Yariv Levin (Likud-Beiteinu), believes that such measures promoting the division of Palestinian citizens of Israel will allow the state…

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  • New law dividing Christian, Muslim Arabs legalizes inequality

    Israel ratified a new law that legally distinguishes between Muslim and Christian citizens of the state, Haaretz reported Monday. The bill, which easily passed by a 31-6 vote in its third and final reading, recognizes the Christian Arab population as a separate, though not national minority for the first time. The law, which expands the Advisory Committee for Equal Opportunity in the Employment Commission by adding to it a separate Christian representative, was marketed as a way to better integrate Christians into the Israeli workforce. However, in practice, it is being carried out at the blatant expense of Muslim citizens. There are…

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  • Having never asked, Israel's gov't 'surprised' Bedouin reject Prawer

    Israeli coalition leader Yariv Levin predicted that the cabinet will likely throw out the current version of the Prawer Plan, hours after former minister and co-architect of the plan Benny Begin clarified that he never said Bedouin supported the plan, as some Knesset members originally perceived. “I wish to again make clear that contrary to what has been claimed in recent weeks, I didn’t tell anyone that the Bedouin agreed to my plan,” Begin was quoted as saying in Israeli media. “I couldn’t say that because I didn’t show them the plan. I didn’t present the bill that I revised to…

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  • See the Prawer Plan map Israel's government was keeping secret

    Former minister Benny Begin, who helped draft the Prawer Plan, denies saying Israel's Bedouin support the plan: How could they if they never even saw it? (Click the map to enlarge.) Until now, nobody knew the extent of the Prawer-Begin Plan. No government official or statement has detailed how many Bedouin citizens will be displaced, how many unrecognized villages razed and how much land will be expropriated by the state. MK Dov Khenin (Hadash) on Monday published a copy of a map distributed to members of the Knesset Interior Affairs Committee. The map was prepared by the Prime Minister’s Office…

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  • Jerusalem bill: A return to anti-democratic legislation?

    By a 5-4 majority, a ministerial committee on Sunday approved a bill that proposes to require 80 Knesset members to approve any negotiations about the future of Jerusalem before the issue can even be discussed in peace talks, as reported by Israeli press. It sounds like a technicality: the bill is far from passing as law, as it still requires a Knesset vote. Although members of the prime minister’s Likud-Beitenu party and Naftali Bennett's Jewish Home party drove support in the committee, Netanyahu himself opposes the bill, reports Times of Israel. Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, who has emerged as the…

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  • Abbas performs the peace dance

    Jewish leaders remain unmoved by this year's performance. From the events of the previous week: Prominent Israeli coalition members – including heads of different Knesset committees – published an ad in Haaretz, calling on Netanyahu to oppose any sort of territorial compromise. Netanyahu’s collation chairman, Likud’s Yariv Levin, told Al-Monitor that his boss will cease to be a prime minister should he sign an agreement with the Palestinians. Deputy Defense Minister Danny Danon called for canceling the Oslo Accords (a good idea, although Danon supports doing so for the wrong reasons), and to make the current status quo – Palestinian autonomy under…

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  • Israeli Arabs should do national service - for everyone's sake

    It would do wonders for equality and integration, and Israeli Arabs seem willing to volunteer, but they're being pounded from both sides by Arab and Jewish nationalists. In principle, I don’t think there would be anything unjust in going so far as to draft Israeli Arab youths to do a year or two of civilian national service in hospitals, schools, etc.  – even though there is a well-known, deeply entrenched pattern of discrimination against Arab citizens in this country. If it’s unjust to draft them to do national service in an old-age home, it’s much more unjust to force them…

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  • Settler leader calls new Israeli government 'a wet dream'

    The new Netanyahu coalition will give settlers and their supporters more executive power than any previous government in Israel has until now.  With the Housing and Industry ministries in their hand, and political ally Moshe Ya’alon as the new defense minister, the settlers are very pleased by the new Netanyahu government. Head of the Samaria region (the northern West Bank) Gershon Mesika told the Ynet news site: "On the face of it, it does look like a wet dream – Ya'alon on defense and Ariel on housing is something which carries great potential, but in these things you can't foretell what will happen."…

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